Toubabs to the Rescue

Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
Trip End Dec 15, 2006

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Flag of Senegal  ,
Sunday, November 19, 2006

I never knew that so many crazy things could happen in one day. I traveled back to Dakar from Saint Louis, and I thought that I was going to have a nice, relaxing day of travel (why I would ever think that is beyond me because travel is always stressful!) followed by an afternoon laying on the beach. Instead, I witnessed/aided in TWO rescue efforts yesterday... not just one, but TWO!

The first was one of the most traumatic events I have ever witnessed in my life. Only twenty minutes outside of Saint Louis, my taxi (with 7 large Senegalese men and then me, little toubab girl, squeezed into the back) approached a gathering crowd of crying women and screaming men. My driver stopped and all of the 7 men sprinted out of the car to see what was going on. I have NEVER seen Senegalese people move so quickly! The cries from the women turned into wails as the men were standing around an overturned Gendarmerie (like the national guard/police) car and arguing in a mix of Wolof and French. I could see that there were four men stuck in the car and none of them were moving or communicating in any way. I could tell that no one in the entire crowd had any idea what to do in this situation. I joined the other women in crying but realized that wouldnt accomplish anything at all so I tried to tell my taxi driver that I'm certified in First Aid and CPR... That didn't translate so well. By the time anyone was able to get the men out of the car, I could hear sirens approaching and was pretty relieved that actual medical personnel was on the way. The hardest part about the whole situation for me was piling back into the taxi with the other 7 men like nothing had ever happened. Within minutes, all of the men were talking and laughing and making phone calls and taking phone calls... and I curled up in the back corner of the taxi trying to understand anything at all about the previous twenty minutes.

I ended up falling asleep and was woken up by the taxi driver once we were back in Dakar. I was disoriented and exhausted; I just wanted to get home as quickly as possible to take a nap or maybe even to sleep through the night. When I got back to my house and unsuccessfully negotiated with my second taxi driver, I realized that my afternoon wouldnt be any more peaceful than my morning. My little sister wanted to go to the beach and I can't ever say no to her. We had a decent time at the beach with our older brother, Papsy, and with my roommate, Rachel, but we didn't stay too long because it was a bit cold -- and by cold, I mean low 70s -- and because I was tired. On the way home, I made an ACTUAL rescue when Rachel and I decided to pick up the cutest white (toubab) kitten ever to be spotted in Senegal. We decided that it's a boy although it's a little hard to tell since he can't be more than two weeks old. We fed him tuna and gave him fatty cream to drink to fatten him up, and then we named him Chubby in the hopes that his name would soon fit his appearance.

Chubby requires a LOT of attention and love, so I'm going to have to get back to my adorable kitten now!
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